writermala, April 13, 2013 (view all comments by writermala)
How a nature book essentially about climate change can be so interesting is a mystery to me. It was Kingsolver's way with words and her humor shining through in her characters that did it. Dellarobia lives in the Appalachian South and Kingsolver tells a fictitious tale of Monarch Butterflies literally moving to her backyard. The book being based on fact, is essentially informative but woven as it is in a perfect tale of human behavior it remains very interesting. I couldn't put it down.
Joanne Haley, February 20, 2013 (view all comments by Joanne Haley)
Interesting subject matter for Barbara Kingsolver's latest book. It takes some actual facts and adds fiction to create an interesting story. It sugguests global warming to be the cause of the changes in Monarch Butterfly migrations. Her characters are great as always & make you feel like you know them. The decision a family has to make between preserving their land or selling out & cutting down their forest is very relevant & makes the reader be able to easily identify with this family. All in all I liked the story, but was not one of my favorite Kingsolver books.
FUBSY , January 30, 2013 (view all comments by FUBSY )
Barbara Kingsolver writes with scrumptious prose. Dellarobia Turnbow's life is the loneliest kind of lonely -- a stay-at-home mom on a farm on her in-laws property, “ ... sealed inside her airtight house ... running out of oxygen.” A woman of humour, she postulates, “People automatically estimate a mom’s IQ at around her children’s ages, maybe dividing by the number of kids, rounding up to the nearest pajama size.” As she races up the hill to her first tryst, she is overwhelmed by the unprecidented spectacle of the forest turned to fire by a seemingly unending wave of reds and orange, without flame. Her first sight of this river of fire is akin to a spiritual experience which she believes is a life-changing miracle. The world arrives to witness this miracle and indeed her life is changed forever. The title “Flight Behavior” refers to two interwoven realities. The first is the life of Dellarobia Turnbow and the second is nature’s response to climate change. A scientist and ecologist, Ovid Byron, arrives to study this miracle. He is a man who feels deeply about our planet and explains that the miracle is a harbinger of drastic biological disorder. He lies awake at night worrying. This book has a serious message combined with in interesting story of love, life, class issues and climate change. It should be required reading for everyone who cares about the earth. “Flight Behavior” is lyrical and sparkling with life. It’s a symphony not just a book but a whole-body experience.
Fay, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Fay)
Although many reviews have described it as a novel about climate change - and although the natural (or rather, unnatural) events that unfold in the novel are gripping and well-developed, what drew me in to the book was the main character. It is her journey, the opening up of her life to new possibilities, that kept me reading. Beautifully written.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"With her powerful new novel, Kingsolver (The Lacuna) delivers literary fiction that conveys an urgent social message. Set in a rural Tennessee that has endured unseasonal rain, the plot explores the effects of a bizarre biological event on a Bible Belt community. The sight that young wife and mother Dellarobia Turnbow comes upon — millions of monarch butterflies glowing like a 'lake of fire' in a sheep pasture owned by her in-laws — is immediately branded a miracle, and promises a lucrative tourist season for the financially beleaguered Turnbows. But the arrival of a research team led by sexy scientist Ovid Byron reveals the troubling truth behind the butterflies' presence: they've been driven by pollution from their usual Mexican winter grounds and now face extinction due to northern hemisphere temperatures. Equally threatening is the fact that her father-in-law, Bear, has sold the land to loggers. Already restless in her marriage to the passive Cub, for whom she gave up college when she became pregnant at 17, unsophisticated, cigarette-addicted Dellarobia takes a mammoth leap when she starts working with the research team. As her horizons expand, she faces a choice between the status quo and, perhaps, personal fulfillment. Spunky Dellarobia is immensely appealing; the caustic view she holds of her husband, in-laws, and neighbors, the self-deprecating repartee she has with her best friend Dovey, and her views about the tedium of motherhood combined with a loving but clear-eyed appraisal of her own children invest the narrative with authenticity and sparkling humor. Kingsolver also animates and never judges the uneducated, superstitious, religiously devout residents of Feathertown. As Dellarobia flees into a belated coming-of-age, which becomes the ironic outcome of the Monarchs' flight path to possible catastrophe in the collapse of a continental ecosystem, the dramatic saga becomes a clarion call about climate change, too lucid and vivid for even skeptics to ignore. 8-city author tour. One-day laydown. Agent: Frances Goldin, Goldin Literary Agency" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
by Booklist, Starred Review,
"Drawing on both her Appalachian roots and her background in biology, Kingsolver delivers a passionate novel on the effects of global warming."
"Enthralling...Dellarobia is appealingly complex as a smart, curious, warmhearted woman desperate to — no resisting the metaphor here — trade her cocoon for wings."
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